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Nutritional Needs
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Dietary Allowances
 Vitamins & Minerals




Nutritional Needs

Pregnancy is the most nutritionally demanding period in woman’s life. Pregnancy deals with rapid cell division and organ development of the baby. Adequate supply of nutrition is required to meet the increased demands of your body. During pregnancy eating should be pleasure as it is throughout life. Expected mothers should continue to enjoy their favorite foods in moderation .The nutritional needs are higher by 300 Calories over the pre-pregnant state. This will ensure that you will have adequate weight gain.

Most mothers-to-be think that they need to “eat for two” for proper growth of the baby. However, “eating for two” may not be always be required. If you are already above the ideal body weight (Obese) or have diabetes, you need not eat for two. The amount of food that you can eat during pregnancy is dependent on your physical activity, your pre-pregnant weight, and presence of any illness. 

The diet during pregnancy should be adequate to provide for:

  • Maintenance of mother’s health.  

  • Needs of the growing foetus.

  • Successful lactation .     

Pregnancy diet ideally should be nutritious and easily digestible. The foetus has been a parasite of the mother for all its nutritional needs up to the first trimester (three months).  In the second and third trimester an additional 300-calories/per day is recommended.

What should I eat?

Eat when you are hungry. Take small frequent meals.
Eat high-quality protein, complex carbohydrates, Sources of proteins, carbohydrates      and lots of fruits and vegetables.
Avoid eating at fast food restaurants.
Carry quality snack foods with you.
Try to avoid processed food and foods that come pre-prepared in packages (they usually have added fat, sugar or salt.)
Arm your cupboard and refrigerator with healthy staple foods, which require little preparation – cheese, fresh wholegrain breads, cereals, milk, etc….
To be on the safe side, it is better not to drink alcohol at all during pregnancy. When you drink alcohol is transported from the mother’s blood to that of the foetus.
Avoid smoking during pregnancy. Even passive smoking (smoking by partners/close ones) is also harmful to the baby.
Avoid self-medication.
If you are in any of the following categories, your diet should be carefully evaluated and recommended by your clinician and a trained dietician.
  • Diabetes prior to pregnancy.
  • Diabetes during pregnancy.
  •  Weight above 200 pounds / 100 kg .
  • Weight below the average for your height (that means if you are underweight).     .   
  • Women with histories of anorexia and / or bulimia.
  • Women with digestive system disorders.



Recommended:  book
"The new parent"
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